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I thought I would die before my wife – Ebenezer Obey


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Nigeria

I thought I would die before my wife – Ebenezer Obey

By ADEOLA BALOGUN

 

Juju maestro-turned evangelist, Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, recently lost his wife of 48 years, Julianah. He tells ADEOLA BALOGUN about his life with his late wife and how he hopes to continue without her

Losing my wife of 48 years

I lived with my departed wife for 48 years. She was not only my wife, she was my friend and confidant. She was not only my friend and confidant, she was my helpmate as God ordained it. God saw the need that man needed a helpmate; that is why he created Eve out of Adam’s bone and flesh. That is why I call my late wife, Julianah Olaide Obey-Fabiyi the bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh, having lived all my life with her. We started together when I was still struggling and we were there when God raised me up to prominence and gave me fame. She gave me a peaceful home. An artiste cannot be successful without number one, the help of God and then number two, the necessary understanding and cooperation of one’s wife. A musician always needs a peaceful home; you don’t need something that will trouble your mind all the time. If you have a troubled mind as a musician, you cannot settle, concentrate or focus. So, she took care and made sure that she gave me a peaceful atmosphere in the house. I want to say that by the time I became famous, I had to get out of the house every night. Knowing that I was always going out, I had a policy of how I wanted my home to be. One of the instructions I handed down was that all my children must be in bed and by 9 pm, my door must be locked. That was the time I was going out to go and work and my wife was in charge and implemented all my laid down policies. And that was why we were able to train our children in high moral standards. Wives have spoken bad things about their husbands, but my wife never said any negative thing about me even during the days that I was a celebrity doing what celebrities do. As a celebrity, I did what celebrities were doing; I had girlfriends, all that stuff. My wife knew but she pretended as if she didn’t know so that she could have her home. At that time too, although I had girlfriends but none of them could come to my house, it was out of bounds. But thank God, God took care of all those as time went by.

How ny wife handled her role as the wife of an aeriste

As the wife of an artiste, she performed her role tremendously well. The understanding between my wife and I was such that if we sat down together here and we had visitors, and we exchange glances, she would understand what I meant even without saying anything. Everything was just perfect between us. She was a woman who actually gave her life to her family; she was not the outgoing socialite, going to parties every now and then. Few times when we had to go to parties together, maybe to my club and all other wives were there, my wife would be dozing because she was not used to it and she would leave earlier than everyone to go and sleep. By the time I wanted to go into the ministry when God called me, I shared it with her and she was the first person that had no objection. Her word was that if that is what God wanted you to do, go ahead. She said it was God who gave you the fame and if the same God now wants you to serve Him, I give you all the support at my disposal. While some people were trying to persuade me not to forsake the fame and all the money and become a church minister, she was not bothered. She knew that I so much believe in God and had depended on Him, so she supported me. In the ministry, they called her Mummy G.O. She played her role among the women and so many people have been saying very nice things about her.

Her role as a wife and a mother

My life depends on God. She too came from a Christian family and when we got married, she knew that I had nothing other than God and so she followed that. Before I had my own ministry, we had a church that we were attending and as I was going all over the world, she was holding forth. Because we were very prominent there, she made sure that we did everything that needed to be done by our family. By the time the call came, she just keyed in and all her life, she was there for me and I thank God for her life. Her role in the lives of my children was very tremendous and the fact that almost all of them became pastors is a great testimony. I thank God for the wife He gave me and I was not surprised that almost all our children are pastors because as they were looking at me, they were also looking at their mother. They knew that their father was a musician but they also knew that I was very close to God; they knew that I had nothing but God and they saw that. Everything about me is about God. To become a star, it was God; the gift that was identified right when I was in school, it was God and to be loved and admired by people, it was the work of God. As a human being, I am not 100 per cent perfect and that is the meaning of life but anytime I wanted to go astray, God has a way of pulling me back. When you have a good shepherd, He doesn’t allow you to go astray.

How I met her

We met by the grace of God. We met in my wife’s brother’s house because he was my friend. When I went there, I saw her and immediately I saw her, I knew she was my wife and that was how we hit it off.

My statues

No, as a musician. I have been a musician right from school and when I got out of school, it was music all the way. As I told you before, I was not known when I married my wife, I was still struggling. The fantasy of attraction when you become a celebrity was not there when we got married, that is the difference there. My wife was a different breed altogether, unlike other women who got attracted to you because of the fame and prominence in the society.

Life without Julianah

Jesus Christ said in John Chapter 14, ‘Let not your heart be troubled in all situations. Believe in God, believe in me also. In my father’s house, there are many mansions and if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ Yes, I talk this way; I preach to people who come to condole with me but when I am alone, I cry and I wipe my tears. How can anyone forget so quickly someone they lived with for 48 years? I will continue to remember her, but Jesus will fill the vacuum she left behind. God made it known that we are pilgrims here on the earth and when the journey ends, we all go back to God but when it will be, nobody knows. It is in the hand of the Almighty God and that is why we must all be prepared. We are on sojourn here on earth for a limited time, that is a reality and it is unfortunate that some people take this world as something, whereas it is nothing. That is why it is vanity and vanity on vanity is vanity. We are here on assignment and once we finish with the assignment, we go away. It is sure that we are all going home and in that home, there is hell and there is paradise and depending on how you lived, you go to either of them.

About the long list of those who have condoled with me

Oh, the love that people have shown since the demise of my wife, it’s been so wonderful. The way people have been trooping in to condole with us has been overwhelming. People have phoned, sent letters, delegations upon delegations everyday. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo phoned, sent a delegation to condole with me. Governor Ibikunle Amosun, despite the fact that he was on lesser hajj at the time, he sent a delegation led by his SSG. The first letter I received was from Governor Raji Fasola of Lagos State. Ditto Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Governor Segun Mimiko phoned, Governor Kayode Fayemi too phoned. Former governor Segun Agagu phoned me, so also was Chief Alao-Akala and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, they sent emissaries. Chief Olusegun Osoba has been so concerned; apart from coming, he is always on the phone. Chief Mike Adenuga too has sent words; so also Aare Azeez Arisekola. Pastor Enoch Adeboye all the way from London phoned me to sympathise with me; so also are CAN president, Ayo Oritsejafor and Papa Sadela, the oldest evangelist. From my former constituency, King Sunny Ade cut short his rest and came all the way from Ondo to commiserate with me; Onyeka Onwenu was here, Chief Tony Okoroji was here, Laolu Akins was here, Dele Abiodun was here. Shina Peters came straight to the house when he was coming from South Africa, he didn’t meet me and he came to the church. Y.K.Ajao too came, Prince Adekunle was here, so also was King Wasiu Ayinde. The Ooni of Ife sent a delegation of kings to commiserate with me; so also was the Oshile, Oba Tejuosho; Deji of Akure; Pastor Tunde Bakare; Pastor Chris Okotie came. In fact, I can’t mention everybody and they are still coming up till now. So, I have been overwhelmed by love and support of fellow Nigerians at this hour of my loss.

Funeral ceremonies

By the grace of God, we are going to have a commendation service for her at our headquarters, Decross Gospel Mission in Lagos on September 27. The other funeral rites will come up on September 28 and 29 in Abeokuta.

Time I thought my wife would die

I thought I would be the first one to go because I am older than her. But we thank God, He knows the best and we cannot query Him.

 

 

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Updated 7 Years ago
 

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